The recent proposition by the government to withdraw business courses from technical and vocational education and training (TVETs) is unwise.
This comes at a time when the country is grappling with mounting unemployment, especially among the youth. Entrepreneurial education is a double-pronged weapon in facilitating the growth and development of an economy as it diminishes the mirror image of subjects of unemployment and poverty through job creation.
Places like the Silicon Valley in the United States remain global centres of technological innovation and entrepreneurship because most companies integrated their innovation strategies with their business strategies.
Instead of scrapping business-related courses in TVETs, the government can revamp these courses to be more competitive and applicable in the real-time market.
The curriculum should be shifted from job-oriented programs to job-creation programs that will empower students to set up their own businesses.
One, innovation should be invigorated in business-related courses. Bringing novelty in a business strategy, model, services or products is key to staying put in a competitive environment and sustaining it in the long run by increasing market share, revenue, and customer satisfaction. Instead of focusing more on theory studies, learners should be motivated to be innovative and be geared towards finding solutions to the needs of their target market.
Two, technological know-how should be integrated into these courses. Familiarity with technology makes one competitive in modern businesses. Technology makes the business process more efficient, propelling marketing and business growth.
Three, TVETs can partner with startups and well-established firms in the country for students to get mentorship and learn from modern businesses’ real-world perspectives of business and entrepreneurship. Benefits such as industrial attachments and internships in such set-ups can be awarded to students for them to learn and have a feel of the business world.
Global exchange programs can also be roped into these courses to enhance the exchange of ideas from different cultures globally. Four, the government should help students launch their businesses. Existing funding programs such as the Hustler Fund can be expanded to provide new beginners with capital to set up businesses.
An enabling environment for businesses will also play a great a huge role. Revamping business courses and creating an enabling environment for business in Kenya will help the country strengthen the economic pillar which Kenya envisages in Vision 2030.
Just like the Silicon Valley, Kenya can be a business hub through apt entrepreneurship courses.
Dorothy Pamella, Kisumu